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“Water from the Rock” to the laypeople employed by the General House

01/10/2008: General House

On 12th September this year, at the General House in Rome, Fr. Teófilo Minga held a presentation of “Water from the Rock – Marist Spirituality flowing from the tradition of Marcellin Champagnat”. His presentation was addressed to the laypeople employed by the General House and it was part of a series of meetings organised by the Religious Life Committee for the year of Marist spirituality. The purpose of the meetings is to spread awareness of the document, which is the product of a reflection on the apostolic spirituality of the Institute.

Fr. Teófilo explained the intent of the document, describing the various stages of its development. He underlined the contribution provided by people outside the Congregation, including laypeople and women, and provided an overall vision of the structure and contents of the book. Finally, he drew the audience’s attention to the graphics of the volume, an important aspect that was carefully studied in order to create a visual counterpart to the simple linearity of the text, and immediately produce an association between its contents and its truly evocative symbols.

Fr. Teófilo stressed the importance of “Water from the Rock”, full of contents and rich in biblical references, the fruit of a profound reflection on the distinctive characteristics of Marist spirituality. The document’s value is not only enjoyable at the time of its publication, like a precious but plain contribution to the existing literature on spirituality, rather it can be used on a daily basis as an aid for reflection and personal prayer.

The presentation was followed by a moment of reflection guided by Fr. Teófilo; the laypeople divided in groups of three and each group read and commented upon some key passages of the text suggested by Fr. Teófilo.
The reflections focused on the following topics:
- trust, as giving oneself completely to God, like Marcellin Champagnat;
- the Eucharist, the climax of spirituality;
- the Holy Spirit, the vivifying element, combined with a personal openness to listening, active in the human heart;
- community life inspired by the values of the family, as a distinctive element of Marist spirituality and a model of concrete action for evangelical values;
- personal prayer, as the way to approach the charisma of Marcellin by reflecting on the Word;
- sharing, as a common path and an instrument of knowledge and understanding of spiritual things.

The laypeople who took part in the meeting were favourably impressed by the initiative, animated as they were by the desire to be more involved in the life of the Institute and interested in this special occasion in this text on spirituality. The meeting organised by Fr. Teófilo was truly effective in approaching the subject with greater awareness.

The laypeople were glad of the proposal to continue and develop their understanding of the text “Water from the Rock” with other two sessions of reading and reflection to be organised in the next few months.
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S. P.

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